Morgenrot (Original Title)

It is 1915. Kapitan Liers, a U-Boot commander, is departing from his hometown, where he, his Zweiter Offizier and the sub's radio operator spend their shore leave. Liers' two brothers have already been killed in action and his mother is upset about his returning to sea duty. Liers believes his Second Officer is in love with a local girl, who, in reality, is lovesick for Liers. Out on patrol, they take on and sink a British heavy armoured cruiser, but when they afterwards head back to base, they end up in a sub trap. They sink it, but, in doing so, alert a British destroyer which attacks them. Mortally wounded, the sub sits on the sea bottom, 200 feet below the surface. The entire sub fills up with seawater, except for the bridge, where 10 of the sub's crew has survived the attack. In the bridge are rescue devices for only 8 of the crew. How will they get out of this dilemma ... or will they?

1h 25min
February 2, 1933
Admin comments

The technical accurateness of the film is stunning (a hallmark of German sub movies). The warships are real (German T-boats equal to WW1 destroyers, a light cruiser and the last riveted German sub design based on a war type). The events in the film are based on specific real cases or (as the rumor spreading in the village) 'true to original'. E.g. the sinking of the cruiser en route to Russia resembles the death of Lord Kitchener, whose ship was sunk either by a mine laid by a sub or by a subs torpedo (unclear because the sub never returned home). The encounter with the Q-boat and the scene with more men than Tauchretter (emergency diving gear) 'everybody or nobody!' happened several times in reality. "Morgenrot" manages to combine both man and machine into a compelling war tale. So, this film is probably the most realistic sub movie ever made. Compare with a shtetl Hollywood junk like 'U 571'.

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